Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
-- children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband's decision, but by God.
Jesus replied, "I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
(as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"). He is our father in the presence of God whom he believed -- the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do.
because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
For he says to Moses: "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us,
and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross -- through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls.
1 Corinthians 4:15
For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, because I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory.
1 Peter 1:23
You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 John 3:9
Everyone who has been fathered by God does not practice sin, because God's seed resides in him, and thus he is not able to sin, because he has been fathered by God.
"Speak to the Israelites and tell them, 'When you enter the land that I am about to give to you and you gather in its harvest, then you must bring the sheaf of the first portion of your harvest to the priest,
Israel was set apart to the Lord; they were like the first fruits of a harvest to him. All who tried to devour them were punished; disaster came upon them," says the Lord.'"
Woe to those who live in ease in Zion, to those who feel secure on Mount Samaria. They think of themselves as the elite class of the best nation. The family of Israel looks to them for leadership.
These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from humanity as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb,
So then, it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on God who shows mercy.